Archive for September, 2015

Canner’s– Spaghetti Sauce or Salsa

I have five 20# boxes of tomatoes for sale.  Harvested yesterday and ready to can this week-end or into next week.  Great option for easy Spaghetti Sauce–recipe #39 at, Recipe tab.  Fast and easy–great for the middle of the winter! 20# makes 2 batches–

We also have the onions, bell peppers, basil, parsley, thyme, and oregano needed for the recipe.  Ready to go!

More of a Salsa cook?–we have Hot Peppers:  Pueblo chili, Jalapeno, Hot Wax, Anaheim, Krimzon Lee (a Paprika variety), Poblano, and even some Habaneros.  Don’t like yours too hot?–add some Yum Yum snack peppers for color.

email to order, or text 431-1219.  Can be picked up TODAY!


Winter Squash- price correction

Correction on the price–not $85 a pound but $.85 a pound–what a difference a decimal point makes!

The Farmer’s Wife

Veggies that you May have Seen–

Hello CSA Members–wanted to introduce you to some of the veggies you may have seen this week and give you some suggestions for them:

Pueblo Chili Peppers–these are hot…You may have gotten them three to a bag…except one person got two Pueblo’s and a Jalapeno…I was one pepper short and subbed the Jalapeno!  They are best known for the developed flavor they gain from roasting.  They are good chopped up and added to dishes, too.  Like most hot peppers, not every one of them is hot…these seem to be a little hotter than our Jalapenos, but definitely not as hot as a Habanero.

Red cabbage–this is the last of the early red cabbage.  Red cabbage can be used in all the same ways as the green cabbage.  It does lose color when cooked, but not flavor.  Super Red is a thick leaved cabbage that is best cut thin if eaten raw.  For this season, you had a small green head known as Gonzales, a larger head with a nice sweet flavor known as Farao, and a huge flattened cabbage known as Tendersweet.  Tendersweet is the one that can be used in the place of bread for wraps…it also can make some excellent slaw!  The leaf may be too thin to hold up for cabbage burgers–for that I would suggest the Farao.  We have one more cabbage to introduce you to this season: Deadon.  It will be harvest after the first frost which enhances its flavor.  It is a bright colorful head of both Magenta and Green.

Celery–home-grown celery is much stronger in flavor than store bought–part of this is due to the age of the celery in the store, and part of this is they can sell celery to more people if the flavor is milder.  Man oh man, does it cook up good in soups!  The celery leaves can be dried to add to soups for winter, or crumbled up and added to other dishes.  We do not trim the outer leaves off…you may need to remove some of them–they are tougher by nature.  They can be cooked down in soup stock with onions for a great flavor…both are discarded when done having imparted their flavor to the broth.

Onions–we introduced the Red Zeppelin onion this week.  The Sweet Spanish and sweet Candy are gone.  The other we harvest is the white Sierra Blanca which is a great all around onion–considered mild, great flavor fried, and not too bad raw.  Our yellow onions are drying down to be pulled and stored for use in October and into the winter.

Tomatoes–I think everyone has had the Artisan Cherry tomatoes…some had the Indigo Cherry Drops this week…both are labor intensive!  It takes hours to pick enough for one group, let alone everyone.  The time we spend picking cherry tomatoes robs us from harvesting other things, like potatoes and carrots.  This week we had Tiren paste tomatoes for Thursday Pick Up at The Farm.  These paste tomatoes are supposed to be the rave of chef’s for sauces!  Paste tomatoes are thick-meated and thick-skinned and will hold up better in most cooking–especially the San Marazano, of which the Tiren is a variety.  Celebrity are a good all around tomato…as is the Polbig that we started the season with.  Celebrity is your canner and your slicer.  We also grow Heirloom tomatoes which are thin-skinned and do not keep long at all.  It has been difficult to get the Heirlooms into the shares this season.  Many of them split on the plant, and ripened up when the heat hit earlier in the season.  After that their production was diminished.  The Granadero is our salad paste–and the ones we put in the Mulligan Stew kits.  Tomatoes should never be refrigerated, but ideally kept at 55-60 degrees.  Refrigeration gives them a mealy-texture.  I would recommend the Celebrity as a canner, and the Granadero as one to freeze.

Bell Peppers–We have shared Islander peppers early in the season:  purple to orange…and now the Tom Cats:  green to red…with a muddy brown in between.  We had a limited supply of Sunrise–bright gold, and the Polaris–all green.  The season started with the Antohi Romanian- a European Frying Pepper which is ready 2 weeks earlier than the rest and lasts well into the fall…we are still harvesting them!

Mulligan Stew kits–this is a tradition for us!  Everyone got the kits and recipe.  If you lost the directions you can get another at, the Recipe tab.  When is it time for Mulligan Stew?–about now…When is it time to harvest for Mulligan Stew?–when the cabbage sprouts are big enough and solid! Mulligan can be made vegetarian, too.  It is the great vegetables that make it so tasty–and you have all those, right from the garden!

Winter Squash–You have now all received a variety of early Winter Squash…those that don’t need to be cured but are sweet right off the plant…Acorn, Spaghetti, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, and Carnival.  They will no longer be in the Shares, but if you want to purchase some they will be available for sale at Thursday Pick Up–$85/pound.  The Winter Squash that will be harvested the next couple of weeks are for storage:  Red Kuri, Butternut, Buttercup, Hidatsa, several varieties of Hubbards.  I do have a small Hubbard called Golden Nugget that will be in the shares the first week in October, and then Butternut sometime later.  Early Winter Squash will keep for a month or two…the storage kind can keep longer with the Hubbard’s kept into the early Spring.  Temperature is key:  not too hot.  Stem must be intact and there can be no gouges, deep scratches, or spots that can spoil.  Winter Squash is highly nutritious.  I often bake the squash in the oven, and then keep it in the fridge to eat the next day.  It can be served mashed with butter, or made into a bisque soup.  There is an easy and good recipe on our web.  Of course, the easiest way to cook squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of garlic; Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or more.  Eat with a spoon, right out of the shell!

That about covers it for this week.  We’ll be moving into Potatoes next week…some beets…and more carrots.  Thanks for being a part of the CSA and trying this new stuff.  If you have any questions–ASK!

The Farmer’s Wife

Share Division for the September 24th Deliveries

What is with Microsoft anyway??  I was having all kinds of issues with Window 7 Pro and kept getting an email for a “Free” upgrade to Windows 10 with Internet Edge…so, why not?  Not working anyway…what can I lose?  Other than the 4 hours it took to down-load the upgrade…and the inability to use the computer during that time?

Well…a learning curve thrust upon me at a time when I don’t have time to learn new things!  I was going to cut and paste a document into this blog, but they have changed the rules….

SO: I will send an email to each point person at the drop points–so please check your email.  It will tell how to divide your tub between the different members with different share sizes.  Remember:  the label on the tub tells you who has a Fruit Share and who gets lettuce. (Fruit-apple and plums; Lettuce- Romaine)

I’ll learn how to cut and paste another day…like maybe January 14th, 2016!

The Farmer’s Wife

Milk, Yogurt, Watermelons, Tomatoes, Fruit Share, & Lettuce option

We have been sampling the Kalispell Kreamery whole milk for the past month–Hand’s down it’s good!  I ordered a couple of extra gallons this week for anyone interested in trying it–Cost is $5.25 for a gallon.  What makes this milk different?  It is not homogenized and the cream is not removed but left in the milk.  It is not raw milk but lightly pasteurized to meet the health regulations. 

I also have ordered more of the Kalispell Kreamery whole yogurt–two flavors:  plain and honey sweetened.  Since the milk is whole it retains the natural sweetness from the cream.  Plain yogurt is tasty and can easily be added to fresh fruit.  Cost is $5.25 for a quart.

We also have the last of the Watermelons for sale from 4:30 to 6:00 at The Farm.  If you ordered ahead your Tomatoes will be ready!  Once we harvest tomatoes, extra’s may be available to buy.  Zeb will be handling all sales in the shelter between our two coolers. Farm Fresh Eggs, TOO!

Fruit Share will be Honeycrisp apples from Utah, and Italian prunes (plums) from Montana.  The rest of the Fruit Share was ordered from Spokane Produce, but they had a mishap on the inter-state this morning and cancelled deliveries.  Those additional items will be included in next week’s Fruit Share.

Lettuce Option is a nice, crisp head of Romaine lettuce from Gallitin Valley Organics in Bozeman, MT.

See you tomorrow!–morning for the deliveries and late afternoon for the Pick Up’s!  Don’t forget to set time aside to get your Share…or send a friend in your absence.  We are not setting up Shares in our cooler for Pick Up later…we already work a 12-14 hour day…would like to close up shop and get a bite to eat by 7:00 p.m. 

The Farmer’s Wife 


We still have canning tomatoes–Celebrity/Polbig, Tiren Paste (San Marzana sauce tomato), and Granadero paste tomatoes (great for freezing).  Also have available onions, hot peppers (6 varieties to chose from), bell peppers, or snack peppers for color, to complete your salsa or spaghetti sauce recipe.  Easy and tasty Spaghetti recipe at – Recipe #39. (check out my “Fresh” Salsa in December recipe- #55.)

Cost is $1.00/#order now for Pick Up Thursday between 4:30 and 6:00.  Send email to or text to 431-1219.  Specify 20# or 40#.

We try to box them either mostly orange, mixed orange and red, or all reds.  The reason is you can chose the box that fits your canning plans.  If you are going to can them right away, get them red.  If you are going to can them over a longer period of time, get them mixed.  If you are not planning on canning them until the first week in October, get them orange.  Come early for best choice.

When the frost hits the quality of the tomatoes diminishes.  We have them covered for a light frost, but if it is accompanied by a strong wind the row cover may not hold or keep the cold out! Don’t put off your canning plans for too long!

The Farmer’s Wife 

Week 12- CSA Members

Hope you all have enjoyed the fresh, organically raised produce this season.  Wanted to remind you again–we had no corn…The deer got it all!  The Farmer watched a buck bound over an 8 foot electric fence, two lines deep–quite a sight to see! They also chewed down the tops of the purple sweet potatoes, but we dug one yesterday and found a small tuber an inch in diameter.  Maybe a taste?

For this week: We are harvesting peppers in earnest and will continue to harvest tomatoes--new variety this week called Indigo Cherry Drops. Celery and eggplant will be on the Extra’s table until season’s end if not included in a share for the week. Of course, eggplant passes with the first killing frost.

This week Mulligan Stew kits for the Thursday Pick Up group; Hope the delivery groups enjoyed theirs–here’s a good social activity:  Make a batch of Stew and invite family, friends, or the neighbors!  Carrots, more fingerlings and potatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, onions, and parsley for this week. AND–OMG! I forgot we have Red Beets, more Kohlrabi, Daikons, and Scarlet and Hakurei turnips–giants I am sure…but we will be entering turnip soup season, fermented and pickled Daikon radish season, and roasted beets in the oven season.  We’ll be working those into the shares in the remaining weeks.

No more Cantaloupe–it is finished; Watermelons are all harvested and will be for sale for a couple more weeks during Thursday Pick Up–4:30 to 6:00.  Cold weather will enhance the Brussels sprouts and Deadon 105 day cabbage.  Not sure the 500 heads of Storage No 4 and Ruby Perfection will make it…they were undersized when planted mid-July.

We have row-covered the sweet potatoes…this has been a challenging year for them:  too cool at night and too cool during this last month.  They are southern grown and require a long, hot season.  We have been fortunate the past couple of years by raising them under black plastic, but each year is different.  We’ll leave them in the ground as long as possible, but frost can change that.  With Sweet Potatoes the frost is carried from the leaves into the tubers–we’ve read you have two days to get them out of the ground after a frost.  We will see!

Our season goal is 16 weeks of produce– this will take us into the third week in October. Depending on the weather, we may move the pick up location into town.  Stay tuned to for posts of venue changes.  The CSA could end sooner if we run out of stuff (unlikely) or the weather gets so miserable that we can’t dig and distribute (more likely). October produce may not be as clean if we can not hose them down–we work outdoors–but they will still be sorted and bagged for quality and convenience.  Hang in there!

That’s all for now, folks!   The Farmer’s Wife

No Saturday Market at The Farm

So sorry, but can’t muster the energy to hustle up a Saturday Market.  Last week I was laid up with a bum knee and back pain.  Today we were consumed making deliveries and filling orders and rolling out the row cover for the first frost of the season which will happen within the next ten days.  (The row cover will also help the plants to handle the stress of the expected temperature changes–higher in the day and cooler and cooler each night.)

Stay tuned for more information on the CSA and tomato sales! BTW–cantaloupe done for the season…we picked the last of the watermelons and they are in the cooler for sales for the next couple of weeks.

The Farmer’s Wife

Update on The Farm

The monthly Update on The Farm has been posted for September — , Update on The Farm page. I try to post these every 30 days to keep you in tune with what is going on at The Farm.

The Farmer’s Wife

Week 11- Leap Frog’s are IN!

Today are the morning deliveries, and Pick Up at The Farm: 4:30 to 6:00. Leap Frog Shares are included this week.

**Make arrangements to have your share picked up–we won’t have time to set it up in the cooler for later pick up.  Our day starts at 7:00 a.m. and doesn’t end until 12 hours later.**

What to expect?  Our traditional Mulligan Stew kit for the delivery groups, and Eggplant and Carrots and Potatoes for the Pick Up’s today.  Other items are another variety of winter squash (Carnival and Acorn, or Delicata and Sweet Dumpling), tomatoes (Celebrity, Tiren paste, or Artisan Cherry tomatoes), Tom Cat peppers (green to true red bell, blocky and thick-meated), and Kale for all.

EXTRA’s table–peppers! Eggplant, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, and fingerling potatoes…a few hot peppers, too!

Lettuce Option–heads of Romaine and Red Leaf.

Fruit Share–Riverton Raspberries, and All Organic bananas, Honey Crisp apples, and pomegranate.  Organic Red Grapes for first 9 people!

For Sale at Pick Up–Sold out of the cooler–look for the sandwich board sign for location.
Watermelons and Cantaloupe…the weather is changing and these will come to an end…$3 to $6.

Kali Pears…these are perfect for eating like an apple right now! $16 a box (I paid twice that)–only 2 boxes left.  I’ll sell them split up if 32# is too much to handle–$10 for half.

Raspberries…$30 a flat (12- 1/2 pts).  Great fresh or frozen.  I like mine on ice cream with chocolate syrup!

Canning tomatoes…$1 a pound.  Ready to go right now! Also paste–

See you!  The Farmer’s Wife